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By the end of the week, everyone in the school had their first Defense Against the Dark Arts class. Much to his surprise, the only thing the different year’s classes seemed to have in common was that Unglesbee was a fan of Harry Potter.

“Other than the whole ‘It’s Harry Potter’s son so I think I might faint’ thing, class was actually pretty good,” James said, as he took a bite of his muffin. “We learned the Ridikulus spell to repel boggarts, and even got to face an actual boggart. It was great.”

“Really?” Albus said, skeptical. “You didn’t have to take a quiz about Gilderoy Lockhart?”

“Only loser second years do that,” James said, hitting Albus’s shoulders.

Maybe the “loser” part was incorrect, but James did have a point. In each year, the students had a completely different curriculum.

“We just had to read from a stupid textbook by some Slinkhard person,” Louis said. “It was awful. I really hope we don’t have to do that the rest of the year.”

When the fourth years, who had Defense right before dinner, finally arrived, many of them were extremely pale, even Roxanne. That was shocking, since Roxanne was the toughest person Albus knew. She scared the pants off every Slytherin and every Quidditch player with or without her beater’s bat.

“What happened?” Albus said urgently.

“Well, we got a lovely demonstration of the killing curse, the Imperius Curse, and the Cruciactus Curse,” Roxanne said, her voice thin and timid.

“What!?” Albus said. David looked dumbfounded as well.

“Is that even legal?” David asked.

“Probably not,” Roxanne said. “And since I can see the question in your eyes, Albus, they weren’t performed on any people. Just spiders. But it still was scary.”

“Is our teacher insane?” Albus asked.

“Yes, but, he has a 'method to his madness',” Rose cut in.

“What do you mean? It seems random,” Albus said.

“Albus, I know Uncle Harry doesn’t tell many stories, but my dad loves to tell them. He’s told Hugo and I about his various Defense Against the Dark Arts classes. In second year, they had Gilderoy Lockhart, who was rubbish, in third year they had Professor Lupin, who was amazing, in fourth year, they had Mad-Eye Moody, who showed them the unforgivable curses in class, fifth year, they had Umbridge, who only let them read from a textbook, and so on. Don’t you see? We’re in our second year, so Unglesbee is teaching it like Lockhart did. James said his class was brilliant, which makes sense because Professor Lupin was brilliant. Then Mad-Eye Moody showed the class unforgivable curses, which explains Roxanne and all the pale fourth years, and then Umbridge had them read from a textbook all year. Don’t you see? He’s basically giving them the exact same classes as Uncle Harry.”

“But why? Dad hated most of those teachers!” Albus exclaimed.

“He must think, ‘If they have the same classes as Harry Potter then they’ll be brilliant just like Harry Potter’ or something along those lines,” Rose said.

“But that doesn’t make sense! The only reason Dad was brilliant was because of stuff like natural talent, facing Voldemort and things, and teaching Defense in his fifth year.”

“I know it doesn’t make sense Al, I’m just trying to make you see along his line of thinking. I don’t agree with it either.”

“Maybe if we asked dad to talk to him, Unglesbee might change. If he treats me like a celebrity, than he’ll probably get on his hands and knees for the famous Harry Potter. If dad tells him to teach normally, he might change.”

“That’s… actually not a bad idea,” Rose said.

“I’ll send him a letter right now! I haven’t sent him a letter yet since I got back to Hogwarts, anyway. See you guys later then,” Albus said cheerfully waving goodbye. He left the Great Hall and walked upstairs, to the Gryffindor common room. As he sat down on one of the plush couches, Albus smiled. He had missed this place over the summer.

Dear Dad,

School’s going well, so far. We have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Unglesbee. His classroom is covered with pictures of you. He went totally nuts when he saw me. I think he’s insane.

Anyhow, at dinner today we found out that for each year, he’s teaching us like you were taught. Like today, since I’m a second year, he gave us a quiz on Gilderoy Lockhart and had us fight pixies (it was terrible). James got to see a boggart (lucky him) and the fifth years only got to read from a textbook. Rose had an idea that he might stop if you were to talk to him. After all, he is really big fan of you. Could you do that, please?

Thestrals look really creepy. I saw them pulling the school carriages.

Yesterday I went to the library (With Rose, of course) and looked up the history of dementors. One of the books mentioned some “King of Dementors”. Is that what escaped from the prison in Antarctica? It seems so, but the book mentioned that there are thousands of enchantments on the prison, and scores of archeologists couldn’t even find the prison. How did it escape, then?

I haven’t visited Hagrid yet, but I think I might do so once I finish this letter.

Love, Albus

For a brief second Albus considered mentioning David’s peculiar behavior and argument with Malfoy, but he decided against it. David certainly didn’t want any attention drawn to it, so informing Harry Potter, who was also Head Auror, was probably unwise. So he sealed the letter, and left the common room to go to the Owlery.

“Here you go, Godric,” Albus said, putting it in Godric’s beak. Godric stared at Albus for a moment, and then lifted up into the sky. He soared across the mountains edge until he was swallowed up by the blue sky.

Albus walked back down the stairs, thinking to himself. The professor has once again left his mind, to be replaced by thoughts of David. Could their friendship be patched up? It improved over the course of the day, certainly, and they were back to normal, but was forgetting really the right option?

It was for now.

Next evening, Godric came swooping in during dinnertime for the evening post, with a letter in his beak labeled Albus. Al patted Godric’s head, who hooted happily and took off flying into the night. Albus ripped the letter open eagerly.

Dear Albus,

I will certainly try to talk to the new teacher. Hopefully it won’t be too awkward to meet with him. James wrote to me yesterday about him too. He seems to be teaching James fine, since third year was my best, but unfortunately you’ll have to suffer most of the year if I don’t talk to Unglesbee. I’ve experienced some quite crazy fans, so I hope I’ll be prepared for him.

I know you didn’t mention this, but I’m sorry you had to experience this teacher, whom you are only “Harry Potter’s son”. I can only imagine how embarrassing this must be, especially with all the pictures. We had trouble getting a new teacher, since Fuchs’s resignation sparked a panic among people that the position could be cursed again. Rubbish, really, but it meant Flitwick had a very limited choice of options. Actually, only one option: Rupert Unglesbee.

You can see thestrals now? I suppose this is because of Slytherin’s death? Albus, I’m sorry you have to deal with this. Thestrals are gentle and misunderstood, but it’s really the psychological reason for seeing them that I’m worried about. If you need any consolation, talk to Hagrid. He’s seen quite a few deaths in his time, and can see thestrals as well. He’s a tough man, Hagrid, but gentler than a fly.

The dementor issue will be articulated more in tomorrow’s issue of The Daily Prophet. (Which is why I wanted this to get to you before then!) I’ll explain a little bit of this issue to you right now. Yes, it is called the “King of Dementors”. Unfortunately, it was in Britain where it first formed, so Britain currently has an unspoken obligation to try and stop it. As for the spells: I honestly don’t know who took them down. There were definitely four gentlemen who released the dementor (You’ve probably already read about them in the Prophet) but they weren’t particularly bright. I doubt they took the spells down themselves. They probably just did the dirty work for someone else. Who that is, I don’t know.

Keep in mind, throughout all of this make sure to pay attention to your lessons. I sometimes wish I had paid more attention to my lessons at times when I was too busy worrying about Voldemort.

Have fun at school.

Love, Dad

Albus re-read the section about the Dementor King. So not even dad knew how the spells were taken down. That was... worrying. Very worrying. Who would have that power? Another skimmed look at the letter made Albus remember something. He had completely forgotten to visit Hagrid yesterday! Well, he supposed he should go now.

"Guys, do you want to go visit Hagrid with me?" Albus asked.

"Yeah!" David said, leaping up.

"Yup," Art said.

"Why not?" Rose replied.

"We should go under the cloak though, since I don't think we're allowed on the grounds this late at night," David pointed out.

"Can we all fit?" Albus speculated.

"Let's try. Albus get the cloak, and them we can try it out," David said. Albus dashed up to the dormitory, quickly opened the lid of his trunk, and buried his fingers underneath his robes until he felt the soft, fluid material. Albus pulled it out, unfolding all of his other clothes in the process. Oh well.

The four of them barely fit under the cloak. The difficult part was walking. How were four people supposed to walk, well, it was more like crawling, without tripping over each other’s feet?

“Left, right. Left, right,” Albus whispered as they left the common room. “Left,” he whispered, as they all stepped forward with their left foot, “Right.”

It took them ages to finally sneak out the front doors out onto the grounds. They quickly hurried down to Hagrid’s hut, tripping the entire way. The grounds were a lot harder to walk on than the smooth stone floors inside Hogwarts.

“Ow,” David moaned. “There’s a rock in my shoe.”

“Poor you, such terrible suffering you face,” Rose said sarcastically.

Albus couldn’t see David’s face as they continued to inch further, but he imagined he must be wincing. Albus took a step forward- he saw Rose give a slight lurch- and all four of them started tumbling down the hill.

When they had finally tumbled all the way down to Hagrid’s hut, the invisibility cloak was clutched in Albus’s hands, but none of them were wearing it. They all had leaves and grass in their hair, and Art’s hair looked like a nest. Albus exchanged looks with all of them, and each of his friends gave him a sort of stunned look, and Albus couldn’t help it. He burst out laughing. A few moments later, David joined in, and then Art, and then Rose.

“Whaddaya doin’?” Hagrid questioned. “You really shoulda been under the cloak…” Albus just burst into even more giggles.

“Hagrid, we were, but then Rose tripped and we all tumbled down here,” Albus said, laughing so much he barely got his sentence out. He didn’t even know why he was laughing. Maybe it was because there was so much tension the past few days that he didn’t have any time for laughing. But it felt wonderful. Really wonderful.

“Albie, let’s get yerself up…” Hagrid said, as his enormous hands picked Albus up from the ground like an enormous rag doll. This just made him laugh harder.

Rose, who had stopped laughing, finally stood up and walked into the cabin. Art and David did as well, though they were both chortling. Albus however, couldn’t stop. He really needed to breathe, but laughing does restrict that ability.

“Sometimes, I kind of think boys are insane,” Rose said. Albus laughed some more. She was completely right.


The next few weeks passed by in a breeze. Quidditch practice started up at the end of the first week. Nobody on the Gryffindor team graduated last year, so there was no need for Quidditch try-outs.

"That improves our chances of winning the Quidditch Cup this year. This way, we don't have to waste time training new players," Chris Van Malden, the captain, had said.

The rest of his classes were like how they were last year. Professor Selwyn had taken a liking to Albus ever since halfway through last year, when he started using nonverbal magic. He excelled in her class. Even Transfiguration was improving slightly, though Professor Dire was still a miserable teacher. After an entire year of being in his presence, Albus's nerves had begun to settle. His overall confidence had taken a boost from last year. Potions, of course, was still one of his favorite subjects, and Professor Fawley's constant joyous mood had helped as well. Herbology with Professor Longbottom was a very laid-back, simple class.

The only class that was terrible at the moment was Defense class. Each day, Professor Unglesbee had them act out parts in the books, and perform little skits in groups. Each day Albus missed Professor Fuchs more and more. On the upside, there was very little homework and during class there was plenty of time for socialization when they were supposed to be practicing their skits.

The identity of the mysterious dementor as the "Dementor King" became common knowledge by the end of the second week of school. Each Daily Prophet issue had a small section focused purely on the Dementor King, and everything known about him. Unfortunately, there was very little that wasn't already mentioned in the chapter of the book Al had read, so Albus mostly read about what was happening currently. For several days the Dementor King kissed entire villages near the coast in Argentina, and then it moved to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Its reasons for this was under debate, but most experts concluded that the dementor was smart, and decided it was better off in the ocean then say, the city, where hundreds of Aurors lived.

One definite thing about the Dementor King was known: it was moving north. Not fast, since it could only move slightly faster than the average human, but it was moving north, like it was passing by South America and Africa at the moment. The Dementor King had the mind of a military commander, which allowed it to see past its need for basic things like food, which was how most dementors determined their loyalties. But the motive for the Dementor King was unknown. So nobody could predict what his next act might be.

One morning near the end of September, Albus spread out the Daily Prophet on the breakfast table. He had recently gotten a subscription to the Daily Prophet, mostly because Rose yelled at him last week for always taking her newspaper.

Albus skipped most of the front headline article. Who cared if the Head of the Department of Magical Transportation had an affair? Further down on the front page, Albus found an article about the Dementor King. Yesterday, the Dementor King had attacked another coastal town in Argentina.

“Reading about that some more?” Art said, sitting down next to Albus. “It is slightly worrying, but it’s all the way in Argentina. Besides, even if it doesn’t come close to England, the Aurors will take care of it.”

“I know, I just find it interesting,” Albus said. “This doesn’t happen every day.”

“I suppose you’ve got a point,” Art said. “Warn me when it comes to Hogwarts, will ya?” Albus laughed. It could come to England, since it was made there after all, but there was no reason for it to come to Hogwarts.

Defense Against the Dark Arts was the first class today, and Professor Unglesbee didn’t seem to care that Albus was doodling a dementor on his parchment. That was the plus of having a professor who was nuts about you. Albus had failed all of his tests, but somehow had a passing grade in his class. Albus suspected some cheating on Unglesbee’s part was in play.

Albus didn’t really pay attention to the story about the fearsome vampire Gilderoy Lockhart had defeated. He thought about the Dementor King some more. At first, the idea that is could be coming to England was just silly. But now he that knew it had ties with England… He glanced back up at Professor Unglesbee for a moment. Now Unglesbee was talking about Lockhart’s tackle in some amazing feat.

He couldn’t have been happier when the bell rang.

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